A mother of three is fighting for her life after a suspected DUI driver crashed into her car during a police pursuit in South Los Angeles last month.
Yolanda Reyna, 43, remains in a coma after she was violently struck by Dashawn Sutton, 43, as he was fleeing police on Feb. 16, 2023.
Yolanda was on her way to a concert when her vehicle was hit near Main Street and Florence Avenue, leaving her unconscious and fighting for her life.
Her family is devastated as they remain by their mother’s side, hoping she will awake soon.
“I can never take her place but I am trying,” Julisa Mercado Reyna, the victim’s daughter, told KTLA.
Julisa says she sits with her mother in the hospital every day while speaking to her and praying.
“I’m constantly just trying to stimulate her brain so she wakes up faster,” said Julisa. “It is heartbreaking. I want to hear my mom’s voice.”
LAPD released a video of the violent crash as part of their investigation.
Officers first received a LoJack activation of a stolen pickup truck around 7:43 p.m. When they attempted to pull the truck over, the suspect did not yield and sped away instead, leading police on a pursuit.
The suspect continued driving away, speeding through a red light near Main Street and Florence Avenue where he crashed into Yolanda’s car. The impact pushed Yolanda’s car into a signal light pole, police said. The suspect continued driving away until the vehicle was disabled near Gage Avenue.
He hopped out of the truck and tried to run away before he was shortly apprehended. He was arrested on charges of felony DUI, felony evading, and felony hit-and-run.
Paramedics rushed Yolanda to the hospital in critical condition where she remains unconscious.
“She is definitely a light whenever she walks into a room,” said Julisa. “She’s noticeable and not having her every day, my family, they are extremely devastated.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family with medical expenses.
“The most heartbreaking thing for me is not being able to hear my best friend along with my brothers,” said Julisa. “She’s just always there for us. My mom, she’s such an awesome person. She’s our best friend. She’s all we have.”